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Daniel Dumont – A Memorial

#11 Arthur Peremans – President Motor Sportclub Amsterdam (MSA)

© John O’Brien    

I knew Daniel from a distance prior to his election as ECMC Secretary during the ECMC AGM in 2009. At that AGM the MSA volunteered to perform the accounts checking for the ECMC book year. I did not realise the accounts checker role would show me the real Daniel Dumont. 

I expected in my accounts checker role to look at totals and taking a sample of the income and expenses after the closing of the ECMC book year. I was wrong that it would only be some work because Daniel had high standards for quality and integrity, so he insisted that I check each and every individual income and expense item. As the internet was still a bit in its infancy in 2010, I made a trip to Brussels to check the ECMC accounts in person. The checking took place on ‘neutral’ grounds at the home of the president of MSC Belgium. After a warm welcome I was friendly but sternly put to work. Daniel provided me with all the evidence and I started checking all accounting items. Of course, I tried very hard to find errors but there were none. 

After the accounts check Daniel relaxed and showed his softer side, his great love for cats and even greater love for jokes. 

After that first account checking exercise I concluded that the MSA could safely volunteer to perform the accounts checking in the following years as the ECMC accounts were in capable hands with Daniel. 

I am grateful to have experienced the many facets of Daniel’s personality, his serious side as well as his relaxed side. 

Thank you, Daniel, for your unrelenting support for our community and for your bad jokes. We miss you and we will build on where you left off. 

#12 Race Bannon – Writer, Educator & Organiser

© Alex Ray Eyes

I can't remember if I had met Daniel Dumont prior to when we judged the International Mr. Leather contest together in 2005. We both seemed to recall that we had, but we could never pinpoint that with any specificity. Regardless, when we saw each other in 2005 at IML the friendship was quickly solidified. The thing that stood out for me immediately while spending that much time with Daniel in one stint was his kindness. He really liked people. He only wanted the best for others. He didn't seem to ever let himself be dragged into the gutter of negative drama, at least not as far as I could tell. After the 2005 IML judging experience, we'd see each other occasionally at leather events and the hugs and chats were always lovely. I'd walk away from every encounter with him thinking "he's a really nice man" and I held that opinion of him until the day I learned of his passing.

#13 Bee Beehop – Ms Leather Sydney 2015/2016

© Bee Beehop

Daniel opened the heart of Belgium Leather & Fetish and ECMC by inviting me to judge Mr Belgium Leather 2017 following an introduction at Folsom Europe. Now a proud member of MSC Belgium & ECMC, I feel like I have family in Europe. A wonderful man, he was given a harnessed wombat and I became his koala(s) from Australia. Throughout the years, Daniel showed me his beautiful jagged leather heart, moments I will cherish forever. I miss you Daniel… Love Bee.

#14 Uwe Langer alias Uwe Bear – Former President MSC Hamburg

  © John O’Brien

I met Daniel first at the ECMC AGM 1996 in Brussels, and then at very many ECMC AGMs around Europe, at several Leather parties in Hamburg and many other events. 

It was my first AGM in 1996 and Daniel made me feel instantly welcome. He was a bit nervous to host such a big event back then.

He was always professional, but sometimes his body language wasn’t always controlled when he disliked or disagreed with something. I always thought it funny and laughed with him. Occasionally he would ask others for help or advice, but he was very much his own man. He did always try to make sure that none of the many clubs involved in the ECMC were upset.

Together we got involved in helping the Russian Leather Bears of St Petersburg become members of the ECMC. Daniel loved to support Eastern European Countries where there had been no leather clubs before.

He was always extremely disappointed when a club left the ECMC. Maybe these clubs could reconsider their decision now.

He was also a personal friend & when my hubby, John passed away last December he not only sent a card but rang & we spoke and cried on the phone for an hour. He will be greatly missed.

#15 Seán Redmond – Dublin Ireland.

© John O’Brien

I only knew Daniel a little, until he joined us in Tromsø for Artic Pride in November 2019. We spent a lot of time with Daniel and had breakfast with him every morning. The main thing I remember about Daniel is his fantastic sense of humour, witty, cutting, cheeky and irreverent. I feel the picture below represents Daniel’s humour well and we had a lot of laughs in Tromsø with him.

Delighted I got to see him in Antwerp and helped him bring stuff back to his car after the great ribs dinner. I am sure you are looking at us now Daniel and making bad jokes and laughing at us as we try to come to terms with you being gone. Keep laughing Daniel and I shall try to smile when I think of you instead of crying for us all and our huge loss. 

#16 Bob Miller, CLAW Founder/President, and Leather Hall of Fame Founder/President

© Bob Miller

Twelve years ago, I asked Daniel Dumont to serve on the Board of Governors of the newly created Leather Hall of Fame based on recommendations from others.  For 12 years we worked together from a distance via email, trying to make good induction decisions, and trying to uncover, honor and publish stories of people and organizations that made substantial contributions to our leather communities before either of us were born, or old enough to be part of them.  

We met in person in 2015, the first of seven times – twice in Chicago at IML, twice in Berlin during Folsom Europe, and these past three years at Darklands, where he would stop by to see me in the Alphatribe booth, and invite me to his annual Ribs Dinner Birthday Party Sunday night.  

That first year, I hardly knew anyone at Darklands.  I arrived at the restaurant by myself and discovered there were more than 75 people there.  The three people I knew were engrossed with others at tables that were already full.  So, I sat with strangers, and tried to be part of their group and their conversation.  When we had eaten, and a few people started to leave, I got up too -- more than ready to make my exit.  Daniel’s table was on the other side of the room and looked especially festive.  I decided it was OK to thank him by email the next day.  Suddenly he rose and came over to me.  He asked if I could stay for a few minutes, that there were people he wanted me to meet.  I followed him across the large room, where he introduced me to a man named Roby and a group of others from Nice, France, explaining to them who I was, and explaining Mr. Leather Evidence to me.  Suddenly an insider, I ended up staying another 30 minutes, and met many others.

After that night, Daniel and I were closer friends.  I had discovered that we had something important in common.  We both were activists on behalf of our community, working to make them stronger.  We both knew that it happened all by itself when people get together. 

#17 Jacques Guet – Patron of ECMC

© John O’Brien

Jaques has far too many memories to share but wanted to remember this pic, which was a very special and unique moment of his life, from when he was made ECMC Patron in Paris in 2018 – He was nominated by ASMF Paris

#18 John O’Brien – Dublin, Ireland

I like to think I am a patient man, but having said that there are not many people I would wait 6 hours at an airport for. Daniel Dumont was one of the very few I would do that for. He was on the way to Dublin to attend a Geared Ireland event and his plane was diverted to Manchester due to strong winds. The information desk kept saying it would be another 30 minutes, which eventually dragged on for 6 hours! Messaging Daniel, checking in on him, he was good humoured and really looking forward to being back in Ireland and to lending his support to our fledgling fetish club. It was only when he said that they had run out of coffee that we realised they never let the passengers off the plane! Thankfully he arrived and almost kissed the ground when he got here. He was delighted to attend the event and helped as an unofficial tally master and gave his advice and the benefit of his experience to us. I have many, many other memories of Daniel but that weekend was special and I remember the warm embrace he gave us when he did get to the airport. I will miss that big bear hug from the bear in boots and his laugh and his bad jokes and his irreverence and his love.

Rest well Papa Smurf – Huge Hugs and much love xxx

#19 Brian Goeken, Washington DC

© John O’Brien

I remember conversations with a large group of us in a bar or restaurant -- whether Berlin, Washington, DC, Antwerp, or Tromsø -- and the conversation is loud, disjointed, and fast-moving, and in English, and Daniel's not saying anything. I'm not sure if he's following the conversation, and then he would let loose some perfectly wry comment, witticism, or some play on (English) words that would cut right through whatever was being discussed, followed by that laugh. Everyone couldn't help but join in. 

#20 Cathal Mulvany Mr Leather Ireland 2016

© John O’Brien

A warm smile, a three-cheek kiss and a warm embrace; that is what I will remember most about Daniel, it was always the greeting I got whenever I met him. The first time I can remember being in his company was the ECMC AGM in Amsterdam in 2014. I had never been to one of these meeting before, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Upon being introduced to Daniel, I was completely put at ease. He was wonderful, and genuinely excited about the development of the fetish scene in Ireland.

Once the meeting was over, I wanted to get a photo with him. He agreed, however, there was one condition! We had to get our boots in the shot. I was only too happy to oblige.

Ever since then, I have had an appreciation of Daniel’s interest in boots, some might even say obsession. So much so, that I’m sure you’ve all seen photos on social media of guys in their leathers, but not showing their boots. A comment would soon come in from Daniel, “Nice Boots”. His numerous ways of reminding us all to get our boots in our photos, and I may have cheekily commented the same on some of his photos in jest. The humour of his “Nice boots” comments has always stayed with me, and every time I see a photo of guys in their finest leathers but without showing their boots, I will always think of him. Daniel, my friend, until we meet again, I have one more thing to say.

“Nice boots”.

Written by Jeroen Van Lievenoogen

Jeroen is publisher of Alphatribe magazine

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